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Re: DDS2 tape drives and Debian

> On Fri, 1 Dec 2006 15:47:10 -0500 (EST)
> Andrew Perrin <clists@perrin.socsci.unc.edu> wrote:
> > Sorry to join the thread late - I use DDS3 tapes here. Can I be
> > helpful?
> > 
> > Andy
> > 
> > 
> I use an HP SureStore DAT8 -- DDS4 tapes.  Can I help?
> -- 
> Raquel

Hello Andy and Raquel,

Having problems getting any stand-alone HP C1533A SCSI DAT/DDS
tape drives to work with Debian.

The tapes, tape drives and SCSI cables are all known good, as they
were recently retired from working HP-UX systems.

To date, have destroyed 3 tape drives and 10 tapes trying to get any
tape media command to talk to them; i.e.

tar, cpio, mt, btape, dd

All fail, see original post for gory details. The end result is to
wrap the tape around the capstan to a degree as to destroy the tape
and eventually destroy the tape handling mechanisms of the tape drive

I actually opened the cover of the mechanism to watch what was going
on on one of the tape drives. It appears the tape tensioning 
sub-routines are not being called correctly.

I say this because, the tape is loaded fine and the tensioners
correctly pick up the tape from the cartridge, wrap it around the 
helical scan head; all OK. But during tape movement or eject, the
tape tensioners relax and the tape is so loose as to cause it to wrap
up on any moving part, like the capstan and helical scan head. When 
lucky, and no tape wrap-up occurs, the other problem is that since
the tape is not tight around the head, no data is successfully read
or written. I/O error is the result.

As indicated I have cleaned the tape drives, changed cables, changed tapes
changed drives all yield the same results.

My guess here is that something changed in etch, in the SCSI tape routines
so as to cause this; only a guess.

Curious part here though is I have a HP SureStore 12000e autochanger
connected to the same SCSI bus. The 12000e also uses a DDS2 tape
mechanism. The 12000e has worked flawlessly through the years as my
Bacula library. My idea for the C1533A was for tar, cpio, or
overwriting Bacula tape labels when it's time to recycle tapes.

Since the 12000e is a 6 tape library with a autochanger robot, it has
its own device file for the autochanger robot, whereas the C1533A does

The only saving grace here is that the C1533A tape drives and DDS2
tapes are no longer being used in production, therefore they would
have gone to the scrap heap if I hadn't snagged them. 

Never thought it would be this hard to write a tar file to a SCSI
tape drive. Been using K3B and dvd's until I can get this figured out.

Help if you can,

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